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Acronis Brings its Latest #TeamUp Partnership to the Streets with HMD Motorsports, Supported by Helix Systems

Acronis, a global leader in cybersecurity and data protection, is revved up to announce its latest strategic partnership with HMD Motorsports, the premiere team in the INDY NXT by Firestone series, and the second-highest open wheel racing in the United States, supported by Helix Systems, a premier provider of IT and cybersecurity services. . Equipped with Acronis’ cutting-edge security technology, this alliance is the first #TeamUp partnership of its kind as it is the inaugural IndyCar and Indy NXT collaboration in the program.

The Acronis #TeamUp program is an exclusive opportunity for managed service providers (MSPs) to partner with global sports teams and plays a crucial role in keeping their internal data safe. Through this unique partnership, Helix Systems will provide HMD Motorsports, as well as HMD Trucking, with Acronis’ innovative cyber protection solutions including Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud, Acronis Advanced Backup, and Acronis Advanced Security.

“This partnership with Acronis and Helix Systems will aid in the cybersecurity betterment of both HMD Motorsports and HMD Trucking,” explained HMD Motorsports Team President, Mike Maurini. “We welcome Helix Systems to the HMD family and are grateful for the opportunity to better protect our organization leveraging Acronis’ industry leading cyber security solutions.”

The Acronis #TeamUp program offers MSPs the opportunity to partner with global sports teams to further enhance their organization’s security posture. Due to complexities and the growing attack surfaces of cyber threats, it is imperative that professional sports teams are proactive in their efforts to secure their most sensitive data. Acronis’ security solution portfolio does just that via a single agent and native integration that solves operational efficiencies for MSPs.

“We are delighted at the opportunity to work with HMD Motorsports, the premier team in the INDY NXT by Firestone series,” said Pat Hurley, RVP Americas at Acronis. “As we continue to expand in our mission to shape the future of cyber protection in professional sports, it is imperative that we include the legendary sport of car racing given the technological advancements, and therefore data sensitivities, in the motorsport industry in order to maintain safety and integrity in the exciting world of open wheel racing.”

As the chosen MSP for HMD Motorsports, Helix Systems branding is at the forefront of important motorsport events including the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Detroit Grand Prix for unparalleled marketing and business development opportunities.

“Partnering with Acronis to offer HMD Motorsports the best cyber security solutions on the market is something we are extremely proud of,” said Daniel Kalai, CEO , at Helix Systems. “As a leading provider of IT and cybersecurity services for fast growing companies. , it is our top priority to ensure that the data within the organizations we work with is protected to the highest caliber. Leveraging our expertise alongside Acronis’ expansive suite of security solutions, we are confident that HMD Motorsports will be the best protected racing team in the IndyCar Series.”

Service providers are invited to join the Acronis #TeamUp Program to deliver Acronis Cyber Protection solutions to world-class and global professional sports teams. To learn more about Acronis’ #TeamUp Program, please visit: https://www.acronis.com/en-us/lp/msp-sports/.

About Helix Systems:
Helix Systems is a cutting-edge IT service provider dedicated to empowering small and medium-sized businesses. For over 20 years, we have partnered with fast-growing companies that value technology and cybersecurity as critical components of their success. Our mission is to redefine IT support with exceptional customer service, rapid response times, and innovative solutions.

We offer our clients an intelligent dashboard to seamlessly manage their IT infrastructure and prioritize robust cybersecurity measures to safeguard their operations. At Helix Systems, we believe that technology should be an enabler, not an obstacle. Our comprehensive approach ensures our clients can focus on what truly matters: growing their business.

Founded with a vision to transform the IT landscape, Helix Systems stands out with our commitment to excellence, proactive strategies, and personalized service. We specialize in providing tailored IT and cybersecurity solutions that meet the unique needs of dynamic and expanding businesses. Our team of experts is dedicated to delivering reliable, scalable, and secure IT environments that drive efficiency and innovation.

Learn more at helixsystemsinc.com.

About Acronis:
Acronis is a global cyber protection company that provides natively integrated cybersecurity, data protection, and endpoint management for managed service providers (MSPs), small and medium businesses (SMBs), and enterprise IT departments. Acronis solutions are highly efficient and designed to identify, prevent, detect, respond, remediate, and recover from modern cyberthreats with minimal downtime, ensuring data integrity and business continuity. Acronis offers the most comprehensive security solution on the market for MSPs with its unique ability to meet the needs of diverse and distributed IT environments.

A Swiss company founded in Singapore in 2003, Acronis has 15 offices worldwide and employees in 50+ countries. Acronis Cyber Protect is available in 26 languages in 150 countries and is used by over 20,000 service providers to protect over 750,000 businesses. Learn more at www.acronis.com.

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HMD Motorsports Preview: WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca

The 2024 INDY NXT by Firestone season will cross over the midway mark this weekend as HMD Motorsports and their ten-driver armada head to the famed WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. Set to tackle the 11-turn Monterey, California facility made famous by the Corkscrew, the Indianapolis-based program will enter the weekend leading the Rookie of the Year honors, and with a new driver in Christian Brooks.

“It has been a busy month and the only real break we have had as a team is earlier this week when the trucks were making the trip out here,” explained Team President Mike Maurini. “We had success here last year, and Laguna Seca is the sight of our last two championship-winning performances in 2022 and 2023, so looking forward to getting back on track with the 2024 driver lineup.”

While the majority of the driver lineup this weekend will remain unchanged, one significant hurdle that HMD Motorsports had to overcome was to fill the #39 entry that was recently departed by Nolan Siegel. Filling that roll will be USF Pro 2000 driver Christian Brooks, as he looks to gain some INDY NXT experience in the hopes of a full campaign in 2024.

Maurini added, “We welcome Christian to the HMD Motorsports family and look forward to watching his development for the remainder of the season.”

With Brooks in the #39, HMD Motorsports will see Caio Collet lead the team into California sitting third in the championship standings but leading the Rookie of the Year points battle. With Siegel still fourth in the championship, Reece Gold and Callum Hedge are tied for fifth and sixth at 156 points but should leapfrog Siegel this weekend. With Hedge second in the Rookie of the Year points chase, Myles Rowe enters the weekend third, but seventh in the championship on his first trip to Laguna Seca. Jonathan Browne comes into the weekend in tenth, just ahead of the #7 entry of Christian Bogle, and Josh Pierson, who had one of his strongest performances of the season at Road America, qualifying third and finishing seventh. Niels Koolen, who has earned three of the last four Jostens Biggest Mover awards, will make his Laguna Seca debut this weekend.

HMD Motorsports will hit the track on Friday afternoon for two short practice sessions before qualifying and the first wheel-to-wheel action of the weekend on Saturday. With a double header on the cards, the second race of the weekend, the eighth of the season, will roll off the grid Sunday morning, just prior to the start of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES.

Keep up to date on all the weekend news, photos, results, and information by following HMD Motorsports on social media.

Photo Credit: RTD Media

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Christian Brooks and Deploy Surveillance Join HMD Motorsports for the Remainder of 2024 INDY NXT by Firestone Season

Christian Brooks, a proven winner in the USF Pro 2000 Championship and fresh off a remarkable double podium performance at Road America, is poised to make his highly-anticipated INDY NXT by Firestone debut this weekend. Brooks, hailing from California, is all set to compete in his home state race with the backing of Deploy Surveillance before his first INDY NXT oval test on June 28 at the Iowa Speedway.

“This is a dream come true and an amazing opportunity for me,” explains Christian Brooks. “My goal is ultimately the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, but this is the next step in the climb to achieve that, and I couldn’t be more excited than to do that with HMD Motorsports and with the support of Deploy Surveillance.”

The 23-year-old Brooks, who sits fourth in the USF Pro 2000 Championship, only 14 points from second, will not forgo his quest for the title. Pulling double duty at both the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in July and Portland International Raceway in August, Brooks will see a load of track time competing in both INDY NXT and USF Pro 2000.

Brooks added, “It will be busy those weekends, but my goal in INDY NXT is to learn as much as I can. With four oval races remaining, I will have the opportunity to do a pair of test days and compete at Laguna, Mid-Ohio, and Portland, gaining more knowledge and experience which will hopefully help put me in the title fight in 2025.”

“Christian is a talent, and that has been proven all the way back to when I watched him in karting,” adds Team President Mike Maurini. “He has moved through the ranks with some success, and now, with the proper funding program in place and a clear path to where he wants to go, he will be a real threat for race wins, podium results, and championships for years to come.”

Maurini continues, “In the past few weeks, we have had several phone calls, texts, and emails from drivers looking to fill some of our seats in 2024 and 2025. Looking at now and the future, Christian quickly became the obvious choice.”

Christian Brooks and the Deploy Surveillance entry will hit the track this Friday for a pair of INDY NXT by Firestone practice sessions at the WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca ahead of the double-head weekend.

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Jagger Jones and Adriel Foster Care Join HMD Motorsports at Mid-Ohio

Partnering with Adriel, a local foster care organization based in Ohio, Jagger Jones will raise awareness for foster care and drive the #33 Adriel branded car for HMD Motorsports at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course July 5-7 in INDY NXT by Firestone.

Adriel has a long history of caring for children in need. Founded as the Mennonite Children’s Home in 1896, Adriel’s mission has always been to serve children without a safe or healthy family environment. Children come to Adriel from unsafe situations, enter foster care, and achieve success. Adriel provides foster care, counseling, and independent living services for children, as well as kinship and adoption home study services for families, and family preservation services to keep families together.

“I am thrilled to embark on this partnership with Jagger Jones. His unwavering commitment to foster care and adoption is truly inspiring. As a professional athlete and college graduate, Jagger embodies the spirit of perseverance and achievement, serving as a beacon of hope for children and young adults everywhere. Together, we will work tirelessly to raise awareness and recruit foster families, ensuring every child finds the safe and loving home they deserve,” explains Todd Hanes, President of Adriel.

Currently, Jagger is competing in the IMSA VP Challenge, winning all four races he has entered. Racing in both the IMSA VP Sports Car Challenge and INDY NXT by Firestone, the 21-year-old grandson of 1963 INDY 500 winner Parnelli Jones is close to breaking into INDYCAR. Jagger also excels academically, having graduated from High Point University in 2023. Jagger debuted in open-wheel racing in 2022 in the USF2000 Championship, earning one win, five podium finishes, and Rookie of the Year honors. In 2023, he moved up to INDY NXT by Firestone, where he achieved a season-best second-place finish in Detroit. Jagger’s racing aspirations are high – win in INDY NXT and carry the Jones family legacy back to the Indianapolis 500.

“I am pleased to be partnering with Adriel Foster Care to help promote their campaign of finding new foster parents,” adds Jagger. “INDY NXT is the steppingstone to the NTT INDYCAR SERIES and I’m excited to be back with a championship winning team, HMD Motorsports. I’ve had a lot of success in sports car racing this year, and I am looking to bring that momentum to Mid-Ohio.”

“Jagger is no slouch behind the wheel of a race car and proved that in his USF2000 results, and then making the jump straight to INDY NXT,” added HMD Motorsports Team President Mike Maurini. “He has been active in other cars this season and winning races, so we are all confident that he will be a valuable addition to our program for Mid-Ohio.”

Motorsports marketing and sponsorship agency Drive Motorsports International brokered the deal between Jagger Jones and Adriel.

About Adriel

Adriel is a nonprofit agency that aims to provide quality care for children in the spirit of Christian love. Adriel offers placementtraining, and other supportive services for foster and biological families. Adriel is here to help make that connection between your open arms and the children who desperately need your support right now, right here in our community. Adriel’s Foster Care Program offers youth needing out-of-home placement the opportunity to live in a safe and loving home, supporting foster families at every step. For more information, visit www.adriel.org.

Photo Credit: Penske Entertainment

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Caio Collet Claims Second in Detroit While Callum Hedge Snags First INDY NXT Podium

HMD Motorsports claimed another double podium on the streets of downtown Detroit in the fifth race of the 2024 INDY NXT by Firestone season. Caio Collet earned his career-best INDY NXT results, as did Callum Hedge, scoring his first career podium as the HMD Motorsports duo finished second and third at the final street circuit of 2024.

The Brazilian Caio Collet did it with back-to-back podium finishes at the backend of a doubleheader in Indianapolis in early May and this past weekend in downtown Detroit. Both Collet and Hedge achieved their highest finishing positions of the season in Detroit, finishing second and third, respectively, Hedge’s first INDY NXT by Firestone career podium. Despite battling hard for third with Hedge, Myles Rowe took home the Josten’s Biggest Mover award making a leap from 19th to fourth before the race finished under caution.

Also moving up ten positions to sixth place behind Rowe was the driver of the #10 entry Reece Gold. Struggling in qualifying, Gold laid it all on the line in wheel-to-wheel racing driving into the top-five, before finishing fifth. Josh Pierson had a stellar drive up to eighth, six positions ahead of his start, as Jonathan Browne stayed out of trouble and finished ninth, adding another top-ten to his record. Hometown hero Nolan Allaer had a heartbreaking end to a great run, getting caught up in a race incident that included Neils Koolen and another competitor. Koolen could drive away from the scene to continue and settled for a 13th-place finish. It was a tough race for Nolan Siegel, who, despite qualifying seventh, had to begin his race several laps down with a half-shaft issue requiring a quick change in the pits while the rest of the field took the green flag. Christian Bogle was in the hunt for the Josten’s Biggest Mover award gaining nine positions as he drove from 20th on the grid to finish 11th.

“It was a good end to a tough weekend,” Team President Mike Maurini explained. “We had two drivers on the podium, six in the top-ten again, but also had some heartbreak with Nolan Siegel early on, and then with Nolan Allaer late in the race. Street racing is challenging, but we are past that part of the season now and can look forward to Road America this weekend.”

HMD Motorsports now heads directly into their next event on the season schedule at the scenic Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. This will be the team’s first of two visits to the Badger State this season, with the second outing at the Milwaukee Mile in August. You can find the full weekend schedule below. Be sure to tune in to the Grand Prix at Road America Sunday on Peacock TV.

Road America Weekend ScheduleAll times CDT
Friday, June 7th
1:50-2:35 PM – Practice 1

Saturday, June 8th
9:00-9:45 AM – Practice 2
1:30-2:00 PM – Qualifying

Sunday, June 9th
12:10-1:10 PM – Race

Photo Credit: Penske Entertainment

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HMD Motorsports is Back on a Street Course in Downtown Detroit This Weekend

With May in Indianapolis winding down, the INDY NXT by Firestone and the NTT INDYCAR SERIES head to Downtown Detroit for the Detroit Grand Prix this weekend. Returning race winners HMD Motorsports will be running their original ten-car lineup, where they will make a run for both the top step of the podium and to regain the championship point lead.

HMD Motorsports currently has six of the top-ten drivers in the championship standings and hopes to solidify the top spot with an HMD Motorsports driver after the weekend action is up. Nolan Siegel holds the second position in the championship, just 25 points behind the leader. Caio Collet and Myles Rowe sit in fourth and fifth respectively, but first and second in the Rookie of the Year honors, with Reece Gold in seventh, Callum Hedge in eighth, and Jonathan Browne rounding out the top-ten for the team. Christian Bogle sits just outside the top-ten in 12th, followed by Niels Koolen, Nolan Allaer, competing in his hometown race this weekend, and the young and talented Josh Pierson.

“We had success in Detroit last year with both Reece (Gold) and Nolan (Siegel) on the top step of the podium,” explained HMD Motorsports President Mike Maurini. “The goal is the same going into this weekend, but we know we will have our work cut out for us. With the Grand Opening of our new facility behind us and a busy month of June ahead, this is the perfect time to get on a roll and build some momentum in the hopes of earning our third straight Drivers Championship.”

What was a doubleheader race weekend last year will only feature one race in 2024. The first of two practices will kick off on Friday, followed by practice two and qualifying on Saturday. The full on-track schedule can be found below. Be sure to tune in to the race live on Peacock TV or INDYCAR LIVE.

Detroit Grand Prix Event Schedule (all times EDT)
Friday, May 31
Practice 1 – 1:50PM-2:35PM

Saturday, June 1
Practice 2 – 8:00AM-8:45AM
Qualifying – 11:20AM-11:50AM

Sunday, June 2
Race – 10:20AM-11:35AM

Photo Credit: RTD Media

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HMD Motorsports Continues Podium Streak at the Brickyard

It was a doubleheader weekend for the INDY NXT by Firestone competitors at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway to kick off the action at the track for the Month of May. Ten HMD drivers took to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course circuit for two rounds, races three and four of the INDY NXT season, where there were many firsts, including a first podium appearance for HMD Motorsports rookie Caio Collet. HMD Motorsports managed to claim another podium in race one by veteran Nolan Siegel, with a total of 12 top-ten finishes over both races.

Nolan Siegel took the second step on the podium in race one, with Callum Hedge, Myles Rowe, Reece Gold, and Jonathan Browne taking up four out of the top eight spots. Hedge, who earned his best INDY NXT by Firestone result of the season with a fourth-place result after virtually no testing, has been trending in the right direction over the first three event weekends. Neils Koolen took home the Josten’s Biggest Mover award moving from 19th to tenth, also securing his first top-ten finish of 2024 in race one. Christian Bogle scored his best finish of the season yet, taking home ninth in race one, and Nolan Allaer, who crossed the yard of bricks in 13th.

Despite encountering setbacks in race one, including a contact incident while battling for second place, Caio Collet demonstrated remarkable resilience. He bounced back to seize the lead in turn one on the opening lap of race two, ultimately securing his first INDY NXT career podium in third place after leading more than half of the race. Nolan Siegel also showed his resilience and kept his place near the top of the championship standings, rounding out the top-five. Myles Rowe, Jonathan Browne, and Callum Hedge all finished amongst the top-ten, earning points toward their season log total. Reece Gold finished 11th, just ahead of Josh Pierson, who had an issue in race one but had a strong comeback in race two to finish 12th. Koolen earned the Josten’s Biggest Mover award for the second race in a row finishing 14th, while Allaer closed his weekend in 17th.

“I guess it is a good thing when you are upset with a pair of podium results by two different drivers,” expressed Team President Mike Maurini. “Great for Nolan (Siegel) to keep the pressure on the championship with a second and shout out to Caio (Collet) for his first career INDY NXT podium. Historically, Indy has not been one of our strongest tracks, but we will look to rebound in Detroit, where we had great success in 2023.”

The team will prepare for their next race on the Streets of Detroit May 31st through June 2nd, followed by a trip to Road America, then they will pick up another double header at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca at the end of June.

Photo Credit: RTD Media

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HMD Motorsports is Back Home Again in Indiana This Weekend

The month of May in Indianapolis is here, and this weekend, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will see its first bit of track action for the Sonsio Grand Prix on the track’s road course circuit. Accompanying the NTT INDYCAR SERIES is support series INDY NXT by Firestone for their first double-header of the season on the 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course.

The Brownsburg, Indiana based team is set to compete with the same ten-car lineup they’ve been sporting for the first two rounds this season. Driver of the #39, Nolan Siegel, is currently tied for the championship point lead heading into the weekend after a stellar second-place finish at Barber Motorsports Park to accompany his race winning performance at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. Rookie Caio Collet, who took home the fastest lap of the race in Alabama, is second in line for the team, standing fourth in the points total and leading the Rookie of the Year honors. Myles Rowe in sixth, Reece Gold in seventh and rookie Jonathan Browne in ninth are also making their mark inside the top-ten. Kiwi Callum Hedge sits just outside of the top-ten standings in 11th, followed by veteran Christian Bogle in 12th. Josh Peirson, Nolan Allaer, and Niels Koolen are all geared up to earn more championship points this weekend.

“We had a good test at Mid-Ohio earlier this week and were happy with the speed,” explained Team President Mike Maurini. “Looking forward to this weekend, we have a pair of races, so there are a lot of points on the line. A good weekend here could be great for the championship and based off what we saw and learned Tuesday in Ohio, I am confident we will have the pace to compete.”

The double-header weekend will feature a single practice session followed by qualifying and race one of the weekend on Friday. Saturday will feature one final wheel-to-wheel battle in the afternoon. You can be a part of this thrilling event from the comfort of your home. Livestream the INDY NXT by Firestone Indianapolis Grand Prix races via Peacock TV or INDYCAR LIVE.  Audio commentary is also available via the INDYCAR Radio Network, ensuring you don’t miss a single moment of the action.

Weekend Schedule · Indianapolis Grand Prix *All times EDT
Friday, May 10th
11:05am – 11:55am // Practice
2:30pm – 3:00pm // Qualifying
6:20pm – 7:15pm // Race 1

Saturday, May 11th
1:10pm – 2:05pm // Race 2

Photo Credit: RTD Media

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Nolan Siegel Scores Another Podium for HMD Motorsports While Caio Collet Impresses

This past weekend, round two of the INDY NXT by Firestone series made its way to Barber Motorsports Park in Leeds, Alabama, where the championship battle heated up. HMD Motorsports returned with its original ten-driver lineup to attempt to defend its back-to-back victories at the Alabama Rollercoaster, including a podium sweep in 2023.

HMD Motorsports driver and Grand Prix of St. Petersburg race winner Nolan Siegel, the championship leader heading into the race weekend, was eager to put a bigger gap between himself and the rest of the competitors. However, Siegel was forced to qualify in the first and slower qualifying group and ultimately had to settle for a P2 starting position, a position which he carried through all the way to the second step on the podium at the end of Sunday.

Four of the nine HMD drivers left in the field were in the top-ten. Caio Collet almost claimed his first series podium, settling for fourth place, but he still took home the fastest lap of the race with a 72.5804-second lap. Crossing the line in the fourth position, the multi-talented Brazilian jumped to fourth in the championship standings and is the current point leader in the Rookie of the Year honors. Trailing behind Collet were rookies Myles Rowe in sixth and Callum Hedge, rounding out the top-ten results for the team in the ninth position.

Reece Gold finished just outside the top-ten in 11th, followed by Christian Bogle and Jonathan Browne in 13th and 14th. Niels Koolen made a great comeback, climbing five spots from 20th to 15th, while Nolan Allaer brought home 18th.

“After a pair of wins here in 2022 and 2023, leaving the track finishing second and fourth with four drivers in the top-ten almost feels like a disappointment,” explained Team President Mike Maurini. “However, we have one driver tied for the championship point lead, one leading Rookie of the Year honors, and all ten drivers finished the race which is a testament. We now shift our focus to a test at Mid-Ohio next week and then a doubleheader at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

HMD Motorsports will journey back home again in Indiana for their next event on the 2024 INDY NXT by Firestone schedule. The event will be held on May 10th and 11th at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It will be a quick two-day double-header to help kick off the racing action during the busy month of May in Indy.

Photo Credit: RTD Media

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HMD Motorsports Looks to Repeat Success at Barber Motorsports Park

HMD Motorsports heads south to Barber Motorsports Park with the first win of the season already under their belts. After a two-month break in the schedule, the Indiana-based team plans to return with the same ten-car lineup as the season opener at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg where veteran Nolan Siegel took the first INDY NXT by Firestone win of 2024.

Alongside Siegel, Reece Gold, Jonathan Browne, Caio Collet, Myles Rowe, and Christian Bogle all finished amongst the top-ten in the first race of the season. Callum Hedge, Josh Pierson, and Nolan Allaer followed close behind, all in the top-15 while Niels Koolen had to retire early but hopes to have better success on the 2.3-mile, 17-turn road course of Barber Motorsports Park in Leeds, Alabama.

“We earned the pole position and a win at the season opener and that was part of the goal to start the season strong,” explained HMD Motorsports Team President Mike Maurini. “Now we move on to one of our stronger tracks and will look to repeat the success.” 

The weekend will feature two practice sessions followed by a single qualifying that will see the cars split into two groups on Saturday before taking to the track for the Grand Prix of Alabama on Sunday, just before the NTT INDYCAR SERIES race. You can find the full weekend schedule below. You can livestream the Grand Prix of Alabama INDY NXT by Firestone race via Peacock TV or INDYCAR LIVE.  Audio commentary is also available via the INDYCAR Radio Network.

Weekend Schedule · Grand Prix of Alabama *All times EDT
Friday, April 26
2:30pm – 3:15pm // Practice 1

Saturday, April 27
11:05am – 11:50am // Practice 2
2:35pm – 3:05pm // Qualifying

Sunday, April 28
11:10am – 12:15pm // Race, 35 Laps

Photo Credit: Penske Entertainment

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HMD Rookie Collet Aims to Be Next Brazilian Star

via INDYCAR.com

Don’t be surprised to see Caio Collet, the 10th and final driver named to the HMD Motorsports camp for the 2024 INDY NXT by Firestone season, charging his No. 18 Dallara to the front by season’s end.

Brazilian driver Collet is a winner. He captured the French F4 championship in 2018. In 2019 and 2020, he raced in Formula Renault Eurocup, placing fifth and second in points, respectively. From 2021 to 2023, he competed in FIA Formula 3, where he scored three wins and 11 podium finishes. His best championship finish was eighth in 2022.

The next step to his racing journey brought him to the United States to race in INDYCAR’s development series this season with the reigning team champions.

“It’s one thing that I was quite happy about that,” Collet said. “It’s an opportunity, a unique opportunity that we have at HMD. We have a competitive car. They won the championship the last two years. So, I mean, there’s no excuse from my side. It makes me really happy. I think this is a great opportunity for every driver to know that your car can win races.”

Collet’s INDY NXT by Firestone debut last October came with HMD Motorsports at the Chris Griffis Memorial Test on the 2.439-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. He was fifth quickest. Collet found more pace in a November test at Barber Motorsports Park, finishing second overall.

That led to a strong official debut in the season-opening INDY NXT Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. After ending up third and second, respectively, in the pair of practice sessions, Collet qualified and finished seventh in his No. 18 HMD entry.

Collet remains humble and credits the team for that speed.

“They have a really competitive car; all I did was to drive it,” he said. “I never did something really different than that. I think all the tests that I’ve been in, we never made any changes to the car, to be honest.

“From my side, every time that they put the car on the track, after a few laps, it’s really competitive. There is not much work that needs to be done.”

Collet’s speed without much of his technical feedback bodes well for when he’s comfortable to share what he’s feeling inside the car.

Hopes of becoming the next Brazilian star in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, following the tire tracks of Helio Castroneves and Tony Kanaan, are realistic. With a series that has a long lineage of Brazilian drivers, there’s an opportunity ahead for Collet to carry on the heritage.

Kanaan retired and became the sporting director for Arrow McLaren. Castroneves scaled back to focus his driving on the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge with daily duties on the ownership side of Meyer Shank Racing.

“I think it’s a great market and a great opportunity,” Collet said of climbing to the NTT INDYCAR SERIES. “So, it’s just extra motivation for myself.”

The 2024 INDY NXT by Firestone season resumes Sunday, April 28 at Barber Motorsports Park (11:05 a.m. ET, Peacock, INDYCAR Radio Network).

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Uncommon Patience, Maturity Drive Growth for Teen Pierson

via INDYCAR.com

INDY NXT by Firestone serves as a development series leading into the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, a place where young talent can grow. And none of the drivers during the 2024 season is as young as 18-year-old Josh Pierson.

Ed Carpenter Racing development driver Pierson competes for HMD Motorsports in INDY NXT by Firestone. This is his second season in INDY NXT, as he debuted in a partial season last year with HMD in between sports car racing commitments in the FIA World Endurance Championship.

If you gave most 18-year-olds an opportunity to be one step below a professional sporting league like the NBA, NFL, NHL or MLB, a touch of youthful arrogance could creep in.

Pierson is the opposite. He’s in no rush, and he has a level-headed approach that belies his young age. That’s why Pierson’s 13th-place finish in the season-opening Grand Prix of St. Petersburg isn’t detrimental to his growth. He is cognizant his youth gives him time to take the necessary steps, no matter how long it takes, to reach the pinnacle of major open-wheel racing.

“I want to go to (the) INDYCAR SERIES,” Pierson said. “It’s been my dream since I was very little. It’s something that I’m excited about. I want to go there. I want to improve, but I think that for me, I haven’t really struggled with understanding that you have to build your way there. You can’t just jump in and be immediately good. And I haven’t been racing cars all that long.

“I’m very young. I understand that there’s lots to improve and lots to build upon. So right now, it’s more about focusing on what I’m doing and focusing on myself and I know that as long as I’m improving and as long as I’m making the necessary steps, then I can find a future in INDYCAR eventually. I’ve got time. Let’s make sure that when I’m going to go that I’m ready.”

That maturity beyond his years is something Pierson attributes to situations that he was put in as a child.

His father, a successful businessman, was bold enough to let his young son travel by himself as a 9- and 10-year-old child. The younger Pierson was forced to grow up fast. At times, he spoke at conferences in front of a large audiences.

“I became very comfortable with public speaking very comfortable being in front of important figures,” Pierson said. “That, I think, is part of it. You have to mature a little bit quicker. I think I had to learn and adapt quicker and I was just in a unique situation, unique environment.”

Public speaking is something that raises the blood pressure of most humans. It came naturally to Pierson.

“I never was nervous for school projects or presentations,” Pierson said. “That was never my concern. And even now, I’ve been speaking in front of people. I really kind of enjoy this thing. This is where I’m comfortable and I’m happy in these situations.”

Pierson said his natural aptitude for public speaking has helped him find success inside of a race car.

When driving, he said he must compartmentalize a lot of information at a quick rate. Everything is going so fast, so a driver must slow their brain to retain the influx of information.

“You need to be able to take in the information you need to be able to get it fast and efficiently,” Pierson said. “And I think that maybe the public speaking helps me have a little bit more awareness of what’s going on and be able to kind of block out the other things and just focus what’s the car doing. What does it feel like? How can I approach this corner?”

The 2024 INDY NXT by Firestone season resumes Sunday, April 28 at Barber Motorsports Park (11:05 a.m. ET, Peacock, INDYCAR Radio Network).

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Nolan Siegel Wins 2024 INDY NXT by Firestone Season Opener for HMD Motorsports

The INDY NXT by Firestone 2024 season started off strong on the streets of Downtown St. Petersburg this past weekend. In an uncharacteristic start of the season that saw a long run of green flag action to kick off the campaign, it was 2023’s Rookie of the Year and HMD Motorsports driver Nolan Siegel, who turned his first INDY NXT by Firestone career pole position into a race winning celebration on the top step of the podium.

Participating in two practice sessions before qualifying, HMD drivers Caio Collet, Nolan Siegel, Josh Pierson, Myles Rowe, and Reece Gold broke out top-ten speeds heading into the single qualifying session Saturday afternoon. With a new system in place, the first qualifying session of the year featured the grid split into two 12-minute groups, after which the order would be determined based on fastest lap time with the fastest group securing the inside lane for the start of race one with the slower of the two groups forced to the outside. In group one, Nolan Siegel topped the charts with a new INDY NXT by Firestone track record, securing his place in history with a 104.57 second lap. After group two times were recorded, the charts showed rookie Myles Rowe second quickest in his group while Gold was third quick as they would like up third and sixth respectively on the grid. INDY NXT rookie Caio Collet would start seventh, Josh Pierson ninth, and Jonathan Browne rounding out the top-ten in the tenth position. Christian Bogle would roll off the grid in P12 ahead of Nolan Allaer in 17th, Callum Hedge who had a massive qualifying crash and was forced to start well down the running order in 18th, and Niels Koolen in P19.

After a nail-biting 45-lap race with only two short cautions, Siegel turned his pole position into his first win of the season and his third career INDY NXT by Firestone victory leading flag-to-flag. Reece Gold scored the fastest lap of the race as he was forced to overcome an early race penalty and drove from outside the top-ten to finish fifth. Jonathan Browne kept his nose clean in his first career INDY NXT start after only two test days with the team to put three HMD Motorsports drivers in the top-six in sixth while Caio Collet recovered from a mid-race spin that saw him drop down the order before driving back forward to finish seventh.

2023 USF Pro 2000 Champion and INDY NXT rookie Myles Rowe was the best of the rookies in qualifying and battled hard at the front of the field, holding several much more experienced drivers behind him, before falling to eighth when the checkered flag flew. Christian Bogle managed to claim his first top-ten of the season, battling up two spots from his 12th place starting position while Callum Hedge won the Josten’s Biggest Mover award powering his completely rebuilt machine from 18th to 11th after the HMD Motorsports crew put in nearly ten hours of work on his #17 entry. Hometown favorite and rookie Nolan Allaer had a strong performance moving from 17th to 14th while improving his pace throughout the weekend and running top-ten times in the race while an unfortunate mechanical issue ended Niels Koolen’s debut on the on the 12th lap, much earlier than he would have liked.

“HMD Motorsports did a fantastic job today; the car was perfect. I couldn’t have asked for a better start to the season,” explained Nolan Siegel post-race. “Thank you to everyone who helped make this happen.”

“The goal was to continue where we left off 2023, and we did just that,” added Team President Mike Maurini. “A victory, the points lead, six drivers in the top-ten, the fastest lap of the race, and our 15th race with at least one driver on the podium. It is going to be a hard-fought season and one race does not define our championship so we will all keep pushing hard.”

Maurini continued, “It was a long off season for us with expansion, growth, and a new shop, and a win in the first race is great for the team morale. From each mechanic to every engineer to the HMD Motorsports ownership, a huge thank you for all of the hard work to continue our winning ways.”

You can catch HMD Motorsports at their next race on the 2024 INDY NXT by Firestone schedule in Leeds, Alabama at the famous Barber Motorsports Park April 26-28.

Photo Credit: RTD Media

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HMD Motorsports Heads to St. Petersburg as the Largest Team in the INDY NXT by Firestone Series

The much-anticipated INDY NXT by Firestone season opener has arrived. This year, the series begins its 2024 campaign in a familiar location, the temporary circuit on the streets of Downtown St. Petersburg, Florida. The 1.8-mile, 14-turn circuit is a fan and competitor favorite and incorporates streets of downtown St. Petersburg and a section of the Albert Whitted Airport runway.

HMD Motorsports, the reigning two-time series champions, will debut a record-setting ten-car lineup in the season opener comprised of four veterans: 2023 INDY NXT Rookie of the Year Nolan Siegel, 2023 race winner Reece Gold, Christian Bogle, Josh Pierson, and six rookies including the 2023 USF Pro 2000 series champion Myles Rowe, Niels Koolen, Jonathan Browne, Nolan Allaer, 2023 FR Americas Champion Callum Hedge, and multi-time FIA F3 race winner Caio Collet.

“It has been a busy off-season, but we are anxious to get going,” explained HMD Motorsports President Mike Maurini. “Everyone at the shop from the mechanics, to engineering, to management has worked very hard through the winter to ensure that we are ready to start the season. The excitement for the first race of the season is here, but also for when the team comes home as we will return to our new 80,000 square foot race shop.”

The series opener with feature two practice sessions followed by a single, new format for qualifying that will see the cars split into two groups on Saturday before taking to the track for the first wheel-to-wheel action in 2024 on Sunday, just before the NTT INDYCAR SERIIES opening round. You can find the full weekend schedule below. You can live stream the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg INDY NXT by Firestone race via Peacock TV or INDYCAR LIVE.  Audio commentary is also available via the INDYCAR Radio Network.

Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (all times Eastern)
Friday, March 8th
1:35 PM – 2:20 PM // Practice One

Saturday, March 9th
8:25 AM – 9:10 AM // Practice Two
1:05 PM – 1:35 PM // Qualifying

Sunday, March 10th
10:00 AM – 11:15 AM // Race

Photo Credit: RTD Media

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Caio Collet Completes HMD Motorsports INDY NXT by Firestone Driver Lineup for 2024

Racing in the United States for the first time since graduating from karting, Caio Collet will pilot the #18 entry for HMD Motorsports in the 2024 INDY NXT by Firestone season. With six years of formula racing experience, Collet expects to quickly adapt to the series though every track will be new to him.

“The NTT INDYCAR SERIES is a goal of mine for the future but right now, I am 100% focused on INDY NXT with HMD Motorsports,” explained Caio Collet. “I have a lot to learn, and I am thankful for the opportunity. I will put my best foot forward at achieving race wins, podium results, and the championship for both HMD Motorsports and myself.”

Driving an INDY NXT car for the first time in October, Collet drove for HMD Motorsports at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the annual Chris Griffis Memorial Test. Ending the day in fifth, Collet finished behind three series veterans and the reigning USF Pro 2000 Champion. In November, Collet returned with the team for a series test at Barber Motorsports Park where he finished the day in second, quickly adapting to the Dallara IL-15.

“It has been a long process to officially confirm Caio as an HMD Motorsports driver in 2024,” explained HMD Team President Mike Maurini. “While he will also have the title of Reserve and Sim Driver for Nissan in Formula E, Caio’s main focus will be INDY NXT with us in 2024.”

Working with the two-time championship-defending team, Collet will work with nine other HMD Motorsports drivers and be under the watchful eye of Race Engineer Mike Reggio.

For the past three years, the 21-year-old Brazilian driver has competed in FIA Formula 3 where he has earned three wins and 11 podiums. Collet’s best finish in the championship was eighth in 2022.

Before he ran in F3, Collet finished fifth and second in the 2019 and 2020 seasons of the Formula Renault Eurocup in 2018 scoring seven wins and 11 podiums. Prior to that, Collet earned the Championship in French F4.

The 2024 season will begin in the second weekend of March for a street race in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida.

Photo Credit: Penske Entertainment